The Top Stories of 2013

December 31, 2013

HappyNewYearAs Stetson University welcomes 2014, we cannot help but to be inspired by recalling the important and even historic events and milestones achieved this past year on the part of students, faculty, staff and alumni. We’ve chosen some benchmark stories and welcome stories that you might have —just leave them in the comment section below.

The following stories brought us to a new level of excellence as a university in 2013. These stories are impressive and show that Stetson is poised not just for success, but for significance in making a difference in the world in the new year.

In College of Arts and Sciences news:

In School of Business Administration news:

In College of Law news: 

At a time when most law schools across the country have had to adapt to the new marketplace and dwindling applications, the number of students enrolled in the College of Law’s entering class was very close to the projected enrollment goals for this year, while increasing First Year’s LSAT scores and applicants’ GPAs. As reported in STETSON LAW, only Stetson is ranked in the top five of the key standards for trial advocacy (#1), and legal writing (#5) by U.S. News, both vital skills for attorneys. The percentage of Stetson law graduates who passed the Florida bar exam on the first try in February 2013 was at 93.9 percent. The state average for passing on the initial effort was 80.2 percent. Other notable law news includes:

In School of Music news, two music faculty members celebrated 30 years of teaching in Stetson’s Music School this year:

The WORLD: International Learning – adds two new programs: Vietnam and Brazil – Through both new programs, Stetson is now well-positioned to cover the globe in enhancing its international connections and expand its offerings to faculty and students. In President Wendy Libby’s blog in Huffington Post, she writes, “approximately five percent of Stetson’s student body this year comes from 55 countries, which gives our U.S. students rich exposure to other cultures in one of the best possible ways… I know we have an obligation to provide tomorrow’s leaders with experiences that will prepare them for meaningful work and lives … in meeting global needs.”

Stetson wins Florida Campus Compact top award – Stetson’s Center for Community Engagement was awarded the top 2013 Campus-Community Partnership award for its collaborative work with the Volusia County Public School District.

In its recent refurbishment, it became evident that Holler Fountain holds more than water. The iconic fountain, once referred to by a past Stetson president as a “fountain of youth,” was restored back to its aqua blue color, the original shade of the cast iron fountain. The very bright blue hue greeted the students when they arrived on campus in the fall. The odds of having at least one memorable moment involving Holler Fountain is almost guaranteed. Please send us your favorite fountain memory in the comments below.

Stetson will roll out a new Tobacco/Smoke-Free Plan to begin on Stetson’s residential campuses in DeLand and Gulfport in August 2014 – The policy prohibits all forms of tobacco use including e-cigarettes and a variety of smokeless products on Stetson buildings, structures, grounds, parking lots and in university and personal vehicles while on Stetson grounds. “Stetson is committed to providing a safe and healthy living, learning and working environment for our students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors,” said President Libby.

Peter Edelman, director of the Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy, and law professor at Georgetown University, was the inaugural speaker for Stetson University’s new Social Justice Lecture Series. The Edelman lecture, held in mid-October, was entitled, “So Rich, So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America.” For more information on the university’s new lecture series, visit Stetson’s Social Justice Lecture Series website.

SUM wins CASE Grand Award for Green or Sustainable Publications for VISUAL Admissions Magazine. Stetson University Marketing received eight CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education) awards at the CASE District III Conference held in February in Atlanta. CASE awards include writing, editing, professional execution of publications, design, technical quality, creativity and an array of other elements to the programs. In addition to the Grand Award, Stetson won two Awards of Excellence and five Special Merit Awards.

In the current issue of STETSON Magazine, “Unleashing Innovation: How We Achieve Significance – An endowed gift names the first dean position in Stetson’s history,” the article describes that after 50 years of service to the university as a Stetson librarian, Trustee alumna Betty Drees Johnson has funded the Betty Drees Johnson Dean of the duPont-Ball Library and Digital Learning Resources Endowed Chair, held by Sue Ryan, as well as library innovations. Dean Ryan has challenged the librarians and staff to make the library a showcase library, ahead of the curve in learning technologies and innovative ways to disseminate information.

A growing endowment is a signal of a university’s strength and its ability to weather change. Income from our endowment funds scholarships, faculty positions and a range of initiatives as part of our day-to-day operations. In the university’s current fundraising campaign, monies raised will go to the university’s highest priorities, as outlined in Stetson University’s Strategic Map, including: Enriching the Student Experience, Advancing Academic Innovation and Creating a Vibrant Community. Nearly $35,000,000 was raised in the last academic year.

In other Hatter Athletics news:

DeLand, home of Stetson University, won Best Downtown in Central Florida – In the Orlando Sentinel’s online competition, which kicked off Thanksgiving Day and ran through Dec. 16, DeLand beat out Winter Park, Winter Garden and ultimately, Mount Dora by more than 8,000 votes in the final round, thanks in large part to the online votes of Stetson’s alumni, faculty, staff and students.

We know we didn’t capture all the good news in the above highlights, so if you’d like to add something, please send us your comments (below) and contribute your good news Stetson story or your favorite Stetson moment in 2013.


Mary Anne Rogers, editor

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